Sunday, 12 February 2012

DJK Band - Venus Flytrap 7" Glo Audio GLO-1, 1978

DJK stands for Dave Scotland (guitar, vocals), Joe Lee (bass), and Ken Wylie (drums), three-fifths of Canberra's Baby Grande. The Baby Grande story makes for an interesting read - we encourage you to do so at the relentlessly centre-aligned Canberra Musicians website. The gist is that the band formed in 1974, first in a pre-Scotland incarnation as the infinitely preferable Far-Q-2, then as Baby Grande in 1975 when the line-up was finalised. Oh, the other members? Their names may be familiar: Steve Kilbey (vocals, bass, synth), and Peter Koppes (guitar).

Initially an intellectual take on glam rock, Baby Grande evolved as the summer of hate dawned in the UK; Koppes quit, and at Kilbey's behest, the band amped up the guitars and pursued a direction more aligned with the Pistols and the Dolls (note that Kilbey's take on "daggy" local guitarists in the Canberra Musos piece is consistent with our own). Through connections and coincidence - notably, EMI Australia being wrongfooted by the UK parent company's directive to sign the Saints - Baby Grande found themselves under contract with EMI, and in January 1977, five songs were recorded with (I'm) Stranded producer Rod Coe. Unfortunately, the session was rejected by EMI for lacking commercial appeal, and the recordings remain unissued to this day. Dejected, Scotland, Lee and Wylie jumped ship.

Kilbey's post-Baby Grande trajectory is a matter of public record - after a dalliance with Tactics, a realignment with Koppes led to The Church and worldwide acclaim. The remaining Baby Grandes quickly regrouped as DJK Band, and issued this self-financed single in an edition of "about 500" copies (note the sly nod to former glories on the label). It's a worthwhile record, and one that gets better with each listen, but absent Kilbey's stewardship it lacks any trace of punk; instead, Venus Flytrap evinces a regression to inventive grillfat with glammy overtones. It's a description that applies equally to the lyrics - we'll leave you to listen for yourself, but let's just say that "a venus flytrap in a bed of daisies" is Canberran for "dude looks like a lady".

Venus Flytrap [Download]


Holly said...

This is great - & a great story!

Anonymous said...

What Holly said ^^^.
Also, although I liked them, I never owned any records by The Church, but you seem to be banging on about Steve Kilbey so much I've been feeling inadequate. So my first Church 7 inch (< 1984, of course) is now in the mail.

Jarrod said...

The MidOzTouch board (under the uh...Canberra Bands vol. 3 thread I think?) had the Baby Grande recordings for download (along with Snibbo) one song in particular was really cool - like a power pop take on a Raw Power ballad ("On my wall" or something, the songs is about fantasizing about some model?) This song is cool too.

Anonymous said...

Venus Flytrap was released in 17th August 1977."Dave Kain Band"&searchLimits=dateFrom=1977-01-01|||dateTo=1978-12-31|||l-advtitle=11|||sortby=dateAsc